Forty student-athletes receive LU diplomas

Michael Feucht (left) and Casey Cromwell

A total of 40 Lamar University student-athletes received their bachelor’s degrees during the university’s commencement exercises last weekend.

The Lamar baseball and football teams led the way with seven graduates each. The women’s soccer team, men’s track and field/cross country program as well as the women’s track and field/cross country program each boast of five graduates. The men’s and women’s basketball teams each have three grads, the softball team has two graduates, and the volleyball team, women’s golf team and men’s tennis team each have one graduate.

Megan Schwartz of the women’s volleyball team received two degrees (social work and criminal justice) while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Combined with the 10 student-athletes who received their bachelor’s degrees at Lamar’s fall commencement exercises in December, the athletic program had 50 student-athletes earn their degrees during the academic year.

“This weekend marks a major milestone for our student-athletes,” Lamar Director of Athletics Jason Henderson said. “We are excited that our student-athletes have achieved their goal of graduating from Lamar University. We are excited for what the future holds for these bright young people and wish them the best as they enter into the next chapter of their lives.”

Three of the student-athletes will return to compete for Lamar next season while working toward a master’s degree. Dillon Barrett and Justin Brock play football for the Cardinals, while JaMeisha Edwards plays women’s basketball.

Those graduating with bachelor’s degrees in order of last names along with sport and major are Caroline Adesule (basketball, Exercise Science Fitness Management); Kimmy Albeno (soccer, Communication); Chase Angelle (baseball, Accounting); Joseph Arechiga (baseball, Criminal Justice); Claire Arnold (track & field, Kinesiology); Dillon Barrett (football, Exercise Science Fitness Management); Aaron Bennett (track & field, Kinesiology); Kristin Bos (soccer, Fashion Retailing Merchandising); Justin Brock (football, Kinesiology); Erin Brown (track & field, Communication); Collin Chapman (baseball, Criminal Justice); Casey Cromwell (softball, Exercise Science Fitness Management); Keith Curran (football, Exercise Science Fitness Management); Trevon Davis (track & field, Criminal Justice); Tyran De Lattibeaudiere (basketball, Criminal Justice); Taylor Duck (softball, Exercise Science Fitness Management); JaMeisha Edwards (basketball, Exercise Science Fitness Management); Daniel Fernandez (baseball, Management Information Systems); Bailey Fontenot (soccer, Nursing); Nicole Frank (soccer, Speech and Hearing Sciences); Carissa Hill (track & field, Communication); Matthew Jackson (track & field, Kinesiology); Kevin Johnson (football, General Studies); Leigh Lattimore (track & field/cross country, Kinesiology); Robert Lee (tennis, Business Administration); Shauna Long (basketball, Criminal Justice); Payden McVey (football, Entrepreneurship); Taylor Mitchell (soccer, Finance); Nghi Ngo (golf, Communication); Sebastian Norman (basketball, Marketing); George Orebe (football, Exercise Management); Donovan Ross (basketball, General Studies); Kevin Santana (baseball, General Studies); Ryan Saunders (track & field, Kinesiology); Megan Schwartz (volleyball, Social Work & Criminal Justice); Reed Seeley (baseball, Advertising Communications); Jesse Sparks (football, Criminal Justice); Sam Stabler (track & friend/cross country, Chemical Engineering); Derek Wade (baseball, Criminal Justice); and Louise Webb (track & field, Kinesiology).

Men’s tennis

Sophomores Nikita Lis and Michael Feucht put together a late run in the second set, but fell just short and lost in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 to No. 1 seeded Austin Smith and Ben Wagland of Georgia in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Double Championships held at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor.

The 54th-ranked Lamar duo rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second set and took a 5-4 lead after nine games. Georgia responded to move it to 5-5 after the 10th game, and went on to take the 11th and 12th to win the opening round of the doubles tournament.

The UGA duo is the top-ranked doubles tandem in the country.

“In the second set, (Lis and Feucht) were much more comfortable,” said men’s tennis head coach Scott Shankles. “They were making good decisions and executing well. They started to get momentum, and once that happened, they put together that run. Unfortunately it didn’t sustain. Georgia is a great team, and they withstood our run.”

Feucht, of Augsburg, Germany, was one of the best in the Southland Conference on the courts, but he proved he was one of the best in the classroom when he was voted the Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year, the league announced in conjunction with the release of its all-academic men’s tennis team.

He was joined on the academic all-conference first team by teammate Nikita Lis, and Juuso Laitinen was named to the second team. Lamar was one of two programs with three selections; New Orleans led the way with four.

Feucht is on the Dean’s List with a 3.73 grade point average in general business. He was an automatic selection because of his first-team All-Southland Conference selection in singles after he earned a 16-8 solo record during the season.

Lis recorded a 3.44 GPA through his sophomore season in industrial engineering. The Kaliningrad, Russia, native was a 2015 first-team All-Southland Conference member in both singles and doubles.

Laitinen earned his way on the second team with a 3.62 GPA in exercise science. The Kuopio, Finland, native was 10-8 in singles on the season with a 4-1 mark from the sixth spot, and 10-7 in doubles action.

Softball

The Lamar University softball team celebrated a successful season with its annual banquet on the eve of the Southland Conference Tournament.

Senior second baseman Casey Cromwell won two awards, the Clutch Award and the Offensive Player of the Year Award. Cromwell, a third-team All-Southland Conference selection, is second on the team with a .322 batting average, including a .329 average in conference play. Cromwell leads Lamar with eight home runs, a .564 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage.

Junior shortstop Stephanie Meeuwsen received the Golden Glove Award, given to the team’s best fielder. Meeuwsen leads Lamar with 119 assists.

Freshman left fielder Sarah Ragsdale received the Coaches Award.

“Sarah has been a pleasure to coach all season,” Bruder said.

— Compiled by Chad Cooper

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